We started dating when we were both 25, so yes that’s fairly young. However, I’m not sure age made a difference – I wouldn’t have been in a rush regardless because I don’t really care if we have a child out of wedlock and as long as we’re both on the same page with our relationship and committed to each other, being officially/legally married and having a wedding came 2nd in importance. I realize that a lot of people don’t feel that way, though. I was just confident that it was going to happen, so I didn’t care when.
Because of how confident I was that it was going to happen, that’s why I kept joking around about it – until I realized that it annoyed him (I just thought it annoyed him for a different reason than it actually did). We both discussed that my center stone would be made out of an amora gem, so I “knew” it wasn’t happening until the amora gem was released for sale (it’s still in production, so I would have still been “waiting”).
And I, too, HATE surprises. I hate them and I wish that I had known the proposal was coming so I could have been more “prepared” for it. At one point, I told him it was fun to pretend that the proposal was coming soon, even though I knew there was no way it was coming (we have a joint bank account, so I knew exactly how much money was in there and it wasn’t much – what I didn’t know is that he was never putting his entire paycheck into our account and was sending it to his dad’s bank account to save for him – and that was an account that I didn’t check online very often, or else I probably would have realized something was awry, but it was mostly his money anyway, so I let him deal with that account). He said it hurt him to know that I was expecting a proposal that he “couldn’t give me anytime soon” (trying to throw me off). That’s when I stopped “guessing” when it was going to happen and stopped talking about it. But, that was TOTALLY fun for me! The anticipation of it, even though I figured it wasn’t actually coming since the amora gem wasn’t released yet, was really fun.
So, I’m with you on hating surprises – but I wouldn’t change my proposal for the world because he really and truly did surprise me and I loved it. It was a very special proposal and it’s a story I can tell for ages. Ultimately, he bought a diamond and that’s why we were never really waiting for the amora gem to come out.
As far as timelines go – at the end of 2011, he said, “2012 is going to be our year, the year we get engaged, the year we move to SC and move out on our own, etc..” And towards the end of 2012, I thought for sure he was going to push the proposal back to 2013 (mainly because of the amora gem) and I was ok with that idea (again, because I wasn’t afraid that he was going to be one of those guys who NEVER does it).
Our relationship has always been open and honest and we’ve always discussed our future and where we see ourselves. If you’re concerned that he’s NEVER going to do it and that’s why you want a timeline, I would have ONE last conversation where you ask him where he sees the relationship heading and when he sees you two getting engaged and getting married – if you’re not on the same page, tell him what YOU expect and come to a compromise on the timeline (for ex, he says “I see us getting engaged within the next 3 years” and you’re thinking, oh hell no… say, “Well, I really don’t want to wait more than this year – I see us getting engaged before 2014, do you think that’s something we can agree upon?” and if he says yes – tell him that you’re not going to talk about it until 1/1/14, but that doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten about it or don’t want it anymore, just that you’re going to back off and let him do his thing – and then keep your word. If he doesn’t do it by 1/1/14, then maybe you should reevaluate the relationship. Of course – pick your own dates and your own timeline that you’re comfortable with, but make sure you give him enough time to get a ring and plan a proposal if that’s something you think he hasn’t even started doing, yet.